Thinking of building?


Find a designer

Work out your current and future needs. Write them down as a brief for your architect or designer.

Research materials, designs and designers to ensure your building project goes smoothly.

A good design process is key to a successful project. Designs evolve over a period of time where you and your designer discuss, digest, think and rework ideas until the best solution is reached.

Decide what level of service you want from your designer. Attend all meetings and provide them with formal feedback.

Find a builder

Structural or weather-tight work on a dwelling is restricted building work so you need competent professionals.

To get a building consent for restricted building work, the design and build must be carried out or supervised, by a licensed building practitioner, a chartered professional engineer or a registered architect.

Your builder is a crucial partner. You need one you are comfortable with and can trust.

Talk to council

Learn about the building process. If you or your building professionals cut corners, you will have to live with the consequences.

Find out from Council staff what can be built on your land, and what consents are required.

Organise a pre-application meeting with Manawatu District Council before lodging your building consent application. They are an invaluable part

of the planning process. Council staff from the building, planning or infrastructure teams will attend if it is relevant to your project. This is particularly important for large construction projects and all new commercial applications.

For commercial projects, it is important you seek advice early in the planning stages from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) to ensure compliance with the Building Act 2004 and Fire Service Act 1975. A representative from FENZ can attend the pre-application meeting.

Understanding the regulatory requirements early ensures they are incorporated into the project design and costs and will eliminate any ‘surprises’ during the consenting process.

 Pre-application meetings are free.

Consents and contracts

Once the design is developed, resource and building consents can be submitted, tender documents prepared and tenders sought from builders.

Ensure you have contracts for the work. Avoid changes to the design (unless they are

small details).  At this point, the drawings are comprehensive and design changes can result in time and cost overruns and will be expensive.

Further information can be found at MBIE Build It Right webpage


Do I need a Building Consent?

The general rule of thumb is "Yes, you do"

There are some exemptions from the requirements to have a Building Consent. You should bring your proposed plans in to Council and the Duty Building Officer will determine whether or not the work you are planning is exempt.

 Schedule 1www_Globe.jpg of the Building Act 2004 lists work that does not need a Building Consent.

For further information or advice, please contact the Building Services Team on 06 323 0000 or at the Manawatu District Council.

 Reviewed Nov 2018